Of all the rags I’ve played of Joplin’s, A Breeze From Alabama is the hardest and hippest.
If the novelty of ragtime still exists today, it’s in the first three measures; I lose the beat every time I hear it!
It has some pretty difficult octave passages:
Where most of Joplin’s rags cover one, or sometimes two neighboring keys, A Breeze From Alabama starts in C major, modulates suddenly to Ab major, has a short section in B major, a transition to F major and then ends back in C major. That’s pretty “outside the box” for Joplin!
The transitions are pretty hip too:
I love this rag; check it out!